A shopkeeper posted a sign above his door that read “Puppies for Sale”.
Such signs have a way of attracting small children, and sure enough, a little boy soon stood at the shopkeeper’s doorway.
“How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked. The shopkeeper replied, “Seven dollars apiece,” the shopkeeper announced. The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. “I have two dollars and some change”, he said.
“Even, if I can’t afford a puppy, is it possible to have a look at them,” the boy pleaded?”
The shopkeeper smiled and opened the back gate, separating his office (a makeshift kennel) from his shop, and soon five small balls of fur came running into the shop. One puppy was lagging considerably behind.
The little boy asked the storekeeper “What’s wrong with that little puppy?”
The shopkeeper explained that the puppy had a deformity and could not walk properly.
“That is the puppy that I want to buy,” the boy said.
The shopkeeper replied, “No, you do not want to buy that little dog, he’s not right. But if you really want him, I will give him to you at no cost.”
The little boy was unhappy. He looked straight into the shopkeeper’s eyes, and said, “I do not want you to give him to me for free. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I will pay full price. In fact, I will give you two dollars and some change now; and bring you one dollar a month until I have paid for him.”
The shopkeeper said to him, “You do not really want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies.”
The little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal his crippled left leg, supported by metal brace. “Well, I don’t run so well myself, and this puppy needs someone who understands him and his situation.”
Wouldn’t we all like to be better understood? How many times do we wish our boss, our colleagues, and even at times, our customers better understood what we were going through?
Consider showing and giving more understanding to others, like the little boy and his new puppy, and you will become better understood by those around you.
Enjoy your June news2use.
“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”
How do you define leadership?
As simple as this question sounds, it is not easy for many to share, with confidence and conviction, what leadership means to them.
By putting language with meaning to leadership, it gives each of us the personal opportunity to live up to what we define as leadership.
Leadership, in my eyes, is value and belief driven behavior that inspires others to work together, and struggle, for uncommon achievements.
How do you articulate your definition of leadership? When did you last share this with the people around you? You can take this question into one of your upcoming team meetings and you will surely create an energizing conversation.
Here is what leadership means to me you could say, and then ask people to let you know when they see you doing things that are consistent with how you defined leadership. Even more importantly, you can give people permission to tell you when they see you “missing the mark”.
Through this process, everyone profits from defining leadership.
For You & Your Team
Are you working with a group of cross-functional professionals, pushing this group to identify themselves as a team and all that comes with it, yet find some in this group pushing back, creating tension and confusion?
Do not let groups get hung up on operational definitions of what a team is or is not.
Learn to focus on teamwork principles that lead to individual and collective success, as I have shared from a recent experience in Norenberg’s Ninety Seconds.
For You, Your Team & Your Business
Leading or being a member of an effective leadership team is very difficult. You have issues coming at you all the time AND you are trying to balance your functional priorities with the responsibilities that come with being a member of the leadership team. That said, if you and your leadership team members cannot manage your blind spots, how can you expect anyone else in the organization to manage theirs?
Here are five blind spots that can infect any leadership team, consider which apply or infect your team:
Act as if they are the smartest people in the company, and have the need to win every argument, failing to ask questions and express curiosity of what others are doing.
Fail to admit their own shortcomings and how they contribute sub optimal performance, instead blaming someone or something else in the organization.
Fail to hold the team accountable for team or strategic priorities that could involve two or more members, thereby encouraging ownership for the overall team objectives
A lack of discipline that lets the team to run down operational rabbit holes, distracting them from real leadership teamwork and not staying true to purposeful, clearly defined strategic objectives
Ignoring or not acting quickly and consequently when behavior issues fall outside of agreed upon norms or promises made in the team.
To what degree do these blind spots show up in your leadership team? Do not expect others to make the changes that should and must start in the leadership team – start your ownershift today.
People, Places & Technology
I am really excited about the upcoming Strategic Leader program that starts in October.
If you would like to refresh your strategic leadership skills, learn new ways to engage those around you and network with top professionals with similar interests, consider getting involved in this open learning program to take place in Munich. Click on the strategic leader link above and take ownership for your growth as a strategic leader.
There is an interesting partner option if you know someone else that wants to grow their strategic leadership skills as well. I am looking forward to this exciting breakthrough learning experience and I hope you will join me.
Thought for the Day